Archive for August, 2009

I Feel Unwanted

“Like paper that’s torn up and tossed to the wind.
Like velvet that’s worn out and wearing too thin.
I’ve tried but I can’t explain who I am

Like words in a bottle that drift out to sea
Never to be spoken between you and me.
I’m locked up and lonely,
Is this where you want me to be?

Cause you’re making me feel so uncomfortable in my skin
And I don’t like this place that you put me in.
Now I feel like the shadow the sun has forgotten.
I feel unwanted.”

~Kady Malloy (Unwanted)

At my previous job, for three and half years all I ever heard was, “Why do you work here?” Or, “You hate it here.” Or, “Why don’t you get a job pertaining to your education?” Or, “Are you looking for another job?” Etc. Etc. Etc. The manager made me commit to being there a whole year before he would even consider hiring me, because he didn’t believe I’d stay. Nobody believed it. Then when I was laid off I was told I “wasn’t a lifer”. Whose words were those? No, I didn’t expect to be there forever, but I expected to be there longer than anyone around me thought. Why the disconnect?

Now at this job, I’ve had several coworkers ask “Why do you work here?” Or “You should apply to X.” Or You would be good at [anything else].” I work there because nobody else would give me an interview. I don’t want to be there, but I will never tell any of them that. I plan to be there until I find something different (yeah, that’s not going so well) or they fire me (fingers crossed). But it is insulting to hear it over and over. I feel unwanted, and I feel like telling these people that I wish I didn’t have to work with them either.

Cancer

In the lymph nodes, but probably not of the lymph nodes. Probably a secondary site, meaning the cancer originated somewhere else and spread. Don’t survival rates drop to near zero when cancer spreads? Primary site not yet determined by blood tests or CT scan. Next step is a biopsy on the small tumor found in the armpit on Tuesday. Hope to have more information (how about a diagnosis?) by the middle of next week.

Not me. My dad.

I haven’t seen him since I first heard about this; I’ve only spoken with him on the phone. He says he is reluctant to be too upset yet, because the doctors haven’t really been able to tell him much. I don’t know if he really feels that way or if he was trying not to upset me. I am upset. My mother is a mess (have I mentioned on this blog that she was diagnosed with skin cancer late last year?). My brother, who I haven’t spoken with in months, has become sentimental, not a word I would have ever previously used on him.

Random thoughts:

Cancer runs in both sides of my family. My father’s mother died of breast cancer. My mother’s mother died of liver cancer. My mother’s brother died of brain cancer. I’m screwed, huh? Actually, I’ve long assumed that I someday I will have skin cancer (like my mother, I’m too fair, and have spent too many summers in the sun)

My dad has always been relatively healthy. He is not overweight, he doesn’t drink much, he doesn’t smoke (though I might guess otherwise for the 70’s), he eats mostly healthy food (my mother is a great cook). The town I grew up in (and in which my parents have lived for 30 years) does have higher-than-average cancer rates. This has long been blamed on a nearby power plant. But New England is downwind in general of every single power plant in the US.

Medically, I would have to assume that my mother would die first. Of a heart attack maybe, because of high blood pressure, self-inflicted stress, etc. My father has always been the more even-keeled. Actually, I always figured (and my brother agreed when I spoke with him the other night) that they would live forever just to torture us.

Since about halfway through my first year at McGill, when I almost dropped out, my parents have considered me to be a disappointment. They had big expectations for their “good”, “smart” child, which I don’t know that anyone could live up to. And I’ve never felt that their expectations even considered who I am. I feel that they only want to be able to keep up with their friends and the “fantastic” people their friend’s children turned out to be. That if I were “successful” (in any/all aspects of life) in their eyes maybe they would be validated as “good parents”. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to please them, before I gave up and pushed them away. I don’t want my father to die thinking that his daughter is a failure.

The Sky is Falling!

“And she says, ‘oooh,
I can’t take no more.’
Her tears like diamonds on the floor.
And her diamonds bring me down.
‘Cause I can’t help her now.
She’s down in it.
She’s tried her best, and now she can’t win it.
It’s hard to see them on the ground,
Her diamonds falling down.

She shuts out the night
And tries to close her eyes.
If she can find daylight she’ll be alright.
She’ll be alright.
Just not tonight.”

~Rob Thomas (Her Diamonds)

I know I sound like a goddamn broken record, but that’s what depression does to me. I cannot let it all go; it really is just one big spiral to the bottom, and then when I get there, the floor opens and the bottom is even further down than I imagined. There is no light at the end of this tunnel, and there is no way back, because all those doors have been slammed shut. And I have no support network, because nobody wants to keep listening to me complain. Sometimes I try to but on the strong front (fake it ’till you make it), but then I just cry myself to sleep when no one else is around.

My therapist doesn’t offer solutions, he just nods his head and agrees with me. What am I supposed to do? How do I stop this cycle? Why am I paying this man money I don’t have to spend, if I don’t feel better? (For anyone keeping count, this would be strike three in the therapist department.)

I got into a huge fight with my father about a week ago. I emailed him a copy of the “new and improved” resume (version 4868.7), that was vastly different than any I’ve used before, but the old ones didn’t work, so it should be revised. He didn’t even get the concept; he preferred the old unsuccessful one. He’s an engineer, perhaps he needed the more black and white presentation of the same information. Then he proceeded to spend an hour trying to convince me to go back to school and get a masters in engineering. “There are always openings in this field. You could work anywhere you want, in any industry. You already have more math and physics courses than I ever took. There are lots of great schools and programs here in Boston. If you need the money…” Etc.

DAMN IT, DAD!! YOU AREN’T LISTENING TO ME! I hated high school; I hated university. If I thought there was another path I would have taken it. The traditional education system has failed me time and time again. How would another few years of torture fix that? I’d just end up sitting here in the same place collecting my unemployment five or ten years from now wondering why I can’t get a decent job with my “great” education. I already feel like life is passing me by, I don’t want to be in the same place in life five years from now. And why on earth would I ever move back to Massachusetts? The suburban sprawl is too claustrophobic for me. I don’t want to move in New England. If I move it will be to the other coast. But somehow I cannot do that either. And it is not just about the money. I’ll never be rich; I get that. I just want to pay my bills now and maybe have a house with a yard for a dog and a garden someday. Why do you think that by offering me your money, you can make up for the love and support you have never given me? And don’t you dare use this as a ploy to break up me and my boyfriend.

Yesterday at the grocery store I ran into a former customer of mine, who first tried to tell me to quit my current job in favour of the one from which she knows me. I had to explain that the two reasons I left that job are still in effect: it is only a seasonal job, and my back still hurts just thinking about it. The she tried to convince me that what I need is a PhD in nursing (she is a nursing professor in Boston), and I should do it at her school! Her reasoning was, people in academia believe that when times are tough, and you don’t know what to do with your life, you go get more education (and rack up more debt), while you “figure things out”. “There will always be jobs available in nursing. You can work anywhere you want. Your science and customer service background will give you a good leg-up.” Sound familiar? It is so devastating to listen to the repeated advice, when deep down I know it doesn’t apply to me. How do I see myself so differently than the rest of the world sees me? And if I take in all the world’s criticism of me, and if I always follow their path, I don’t think I’ll ever learn to love myself.

Other notes:
Boyfriend is on vacation with the kids. Gone to visit Grandma (who I still haven’t met). My new assistant manager wouldn’t let me have two days off to meet up with them.

A part-time job I’d been promised just fell through, because I won’t work with the chemicals the owner is insisting upon. I could really use that money.

I screwed up at work today. Again. We got a new computer system in the middle of June and I’ve been having huge problems ever since. It’s become a joke to everyone else, but I was so determined that this month be better, that I almost had a breakdown when I discovered another problem today.